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Almah - Unfold Award winner

Almah
Unfold
by Daniel Fox at 17 October 2013, 8:30 PM

Allow me to begin with a quote: "There comes a moment in a man’s life when it is necessary to make a radical decision in order to move forward with dignity and renewed energy”. This is from the statement that famed Brazilian Metal vocalist and composer, Edu Falaschi, released, upon his departure from home country metal giants, ANGRA. I had been a fan of them for a long time, and also Falaschi's newer solo work. His leaving of one of my favorite bands managed to turn from a disappointment to a renewal of hope for some of my favorite music, for he, if I may say, as one of the musicians I most genuinely admire (that title does not get thrown around) continued on with his solo band, ALMAH. The previous releases with the band, now a permanent act, marked a step away in style from his ANGRA, not only in compositional style, but also in vocals; no longer was he constrained to the high-pitched, soaring melodies 'required' by a power metal band; in ALMAH, as he has already said, he has found his niche.

This brings me to the release of the band's latest release, "Unfold". Different again from the modern, progressive and heavy "Motion", this new piece appears to combine the elements most exquisite found in his previous solo work, and even some ANGRA-like hints. As I could have expected, it was a thrilling experience; and yet, not one piece of it was predictable. "In My Sleep" is one hell of an opening track, that is riled up with a technical drum roll by a monster on the battery, Marcelo Moreira, that explodes into a lightning-fast and energetic power metal riffage, that tends to (rightly) dominate most of the song. Falaschi once again proves his vocal abilities are nowhere near restricted, and floats between gruff baritones and soaring melodies; this kind of versatility is found on each of the album's exquisite tracks. Upon listening to the balladic "Warm Wind", I am pleasantly reminded of ANGRA's "Wishing Well", one of my favorite ANGRA tracks of all time. In part, this new piece is stylistically similar, but retains that slightly heavier, slightly more unpredictable, "ALMAH" touch, and is smoothed over by one of my favorite Falaschi vocal performances of all time.

"Raise the Sun" rightly chosen as the single to showcase "Unfold" in all its glory. It begins mid-tempo and graceful, but quickly ascends to a progressive grove rife with riff mastery that pops up from time to time, and contains some beautiful bass lines. Raphael is certainly an expert at his instrument, which is saying something, since ALMAH's former (and current ANGRA) bassist, Felipe Andreoli, is a bassist most influential to me. "Believer" once again pushes the musical envelop within this album, and is a brutally intricate and furious track, full of powerful, thrashy riffage, yet also infectiously catchy vocal melodies; one of my two most favorite track on the album. Finally, I cannot finish writing this up without touching on "Treasure Of The Gods", a meaty, nine-and-a-half-minute composition, made up of many passages that, while are stylistically different, amalgamate to create my other favorite piece. On this track, I hear some of the most complicated and intricate drum, bass and guitar interplay, and beautiful guitar solos, and stellar vocal belt-outs. This song is metal personified.

"Unfold" is one of the albums I have ever had the most pleasure writing about and listening to. It is a reminder to myself and other fans why Brazil is ultimately a metal powerhouse; after leaving ANGRA, continuing ALMAH was the best thing Falaschi could have done, and I hope 'that, with them, he continues to belt out more masterpieces in the future.

*There will be a special release for the album via Sleaszy Rider Records for Greece. 

5 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. In My Sleep
2. Beware The Stroke
3. The Hostage
4. Warm Wind
5. Raise the Sun
6. Cannibals in Suits
7. Wings of Revolution
8. Believer
9. I Do
10. You Gotta Stand
11. Treasure Of The Gods
12. Farewell
Lineup:
Edu Falaschi – Vocals
Marcelo Barbosa – Guitars
Gustavo Di Padua – Guitars
Raphael Dafras – Bass
Marcelo Moreira – Drums
Record Label: Scarlet Records
     


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Edited 24 October 2021
 

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